StyedYOU Retreat: Yucca Valley, CA

 

Everyone in my life can attest that I've been chomping at the bit to go to Joshua Tree/Palm Springs, CA for years...long before it was a photographers paradise, simply because I thrive when I'm in the sun. I figured Joshua Tree would be the ultimate place to get sunshine among the tree's that made me feel like The Lorax would pop out any minute.

Back in February, a random spot opened up for Mae & Co's StyledYOU Retreat in Yucca Valley i.e. Joshua Tree paradise. I'd just gotten paid and instead of paying x, y, and z....I bought a plane ticket to Palm Springs, told Manda I was coming and that was that. And I'm so flipping glad that I did.

This workshop allowed me to work along side more than just photographers (florists, calligrapher/watercolorist, stylists and so many other amazing boss babes). Being in the wedding industry, it's so important to know how to work alongside all the other creatives and vendors that come together to make each wedding a magical dream, and being able to work with all of these creatives and vendors Manda from Mae + Co had brought together was a pivotal shift in my own personal business.

So for four-days I hot tubbed, worked along side some of the most amazing boss babes in the industry, drank a ton of champaign and mimosa's, got attacked by jumping cactus, revived my passion for water color, played with the most beautiful florals, and danced stupid under the stars with women who I now consider friends for life (in fact I'm working with one of these amazing boss babes in August which I just I'm bubbling over with excitement and y"all's socks are gonna fall off!) and at the end of the day, my daydreaming of Joshua Tree was everything and more than I had hoped it would be. It's safe to say I felt so at home amongst all the cacti and jack rabbits and I will for sure be coming back. (In fact I'm planning a trip for the end of fall...and I'll have 2-3 slots available while I'm down there...so message ya' girl if you want me to capture some magic of you and your boo or fam in the desert's sunset.)

So as I spent my last morning, watching the sun rise bleed into my window across the desert I knew that I was exactly where I had needed to be. Becoming exactly what I was meant to become. Finding life amongts the Joshua Tree's and the road runners and like minded women whom I will forever be grateful for.

That being said...here's some of the beauty and magic that came out of my 4-day's in the desert...

 
 
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Style + Design/Workshop: Mae & Co
Venue: The Hi Desert
Photography in blog post: Heather Woolery Photography + Creative
Florals: Good Seed Floral
Hand lettering: Seek Paper Co
Make up: Makeup By Whit
Hair: Kayla Nicole
Tablewear: Margaret and Beau
Dress: Rue De Seine and Sarah Seven from The Dress Theory San Diego
Suit: Top Man
 

Big Four Mountain Elopement

 

Heather Woolery Photography + Creative | Big Four Mountain, WA | 2018

You know the phrase; "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade"? Well let me tell you all about the lemons.

I've been dying to do something out at the Big Four Ice Caves in North Washington for about two-years. I have daydreamed and envisioned exactly how I would do it and this January we all decided we were going to spend my kids Spring Break in Seattle....a mere 1.5 hr drive from the ice caves.

There was so many up's and down's all the way up to the day of the elopement but where the big lemons came is was 2-miles away from the Big Four Ice Caves trailhead. 2-miles away from the trailhead the road was closed due to heavy packed snow. So my couple and I packed up all of our stuff and hiked the 2-miles in the snow to the trail head to hike another 1.5 miles to the ice caves. with less then .5 mile to go a group of hikers coming back let us know a recent avalanche had covered the ice caves, meaning we were not going to be able to see them, take photos in or around them...nothing. Both my couple and I had driven hundreds of miles and hiked in the snow to find out the whole sole purpose was covered in about 10ft of snow.

We still hiked forward and got to where the ice caves lived...though now just a whopping heap of white. But here comes the lemonade...though we were surrounded by snow we were having summer like warm breezes flow all around us. I got all my camera gear ready and we made the best of what we could and in all honesty I'm so over the moon.

My couples newly wed love was adorable and endearing to watch. When all was said and done and we were hiking back they gave each other a fist pump and later that night got milkshakes (that's my kinda couple!)

Here are just a few of the 100+ amazing captures that happened at the base of Big Four Mountain on a sunny warm snowy day in the Snoqualmie National Forest.

 

Wandering Wedding Feature: Dunes Anniversary Shoot

 

Do you remember that dreamy snow covered sand dunes shoot I did at the end of last year? Well this morning you get to re-live all of the goodness as it's featured on Wandering Weddings (formerly Wandering Photographers) today!

Go give it some love and send all the good vibes to this amazing couple as they get reunited soon!

Happy Friday!
With Grace+Guts,

-Heather

 

McPherson In-Home Newborn Session

 
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There's always something wonderful when your client welcomes you into their home and let's you be apart of their crazy. Jenny is a mama now to four beautiful children...the youngest was only 8-days old when she opened her door up to me. Her three oldest were obsessed with their new little brother and it was so adorable to watch.

This newest member to the family was, however, less than thrilled to have me bugging him with a camera and cried the majority of the time.

Both the parents just giggled and as they shrugged their shoulders looked at each other lovingly and said "well, it's memories".

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Puppy love/ couple session with Kellyn and Nathan

 
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I love it when my clients message me about a shoot where their personality just fills the message, the room, the space.
This is exactly what happened when Kellyn first messaged me, it went along the lines of "I'm looking for couple photos with my boyfriend of X-years and our three dogs"...need I say more I was so in from the first second.

Once we finally met up for the shoot, I was so jazzed, and their three furr babies were so adorable I'll admit there were times it was hard to focus because, I mean, common, LOOK AT THEM!

I absolutely loved this shoot, it was one of those where as a photographer your looking at the shots and your crying inside with happiness screaming "this is SOOOO good!" having the hardest time trying to choose which ones!

Thank you Kellyn and Nathan (and your three adorable fur babies)! I hope you all have a blast with the upcoming snow! It was a blast working with you!

With Grace+Guts,
-H

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Ben + Dara: A Portland Backyard Wedding

 

Back in September, Oregon's beautiful Gorge broke into the horrible thousand's of acres burning Eagle Creek Fire. This fire broke out simply one week before Ben + Dara were scheduled to get married, just a hop, skip and a jump from where the fire was burning.

Two day's before the wedding I got an SOS e-mail from the bride and groom telling me of a last minute decision to move locations. From a however many acre farm full of llamas and chickens and mountainous views, to a friends Portland backyard. 

As a photographer, it's my job to make sure the bride and groom have a beautiful day, and photos to capture all the memories...no matter what the backdrop is, no matter what last minute changes need to happen.

I showed up on the wedding day, and was instantly blown away from all the love, community and magic that had occurred in this little Portland backyard. This became the theme of the evening. I was constantly reminded and shown by all their closest friends, neighbors and family members how wonderful and pure of souls both Ben and Dara are. How much love everyone shows them because of how much love they show everyone else.

I couldn't have been more humbled to share this amazing day with Ben + Dara and I could only with them the best, all the whiskey and mountain tops possible.

Congratulations again Ben + Dara!

With Grace+Guts,
-H

 
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taylor / haunting autumn maternity shoot

 
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When there's a request for a maternity shoot and the words 'Halloween', 'Nightmare Before Christmas', and 'autumn' are used in a single sentence...I was having a hard time breathing.
If you know me, you'll know that these were magical words, and all things that I L O V E!!!

We met up in Lewiston, ID which is a valley...which means its a bowl...which means all the smoke from Oregon, Idaho and Montana have somehow all congregated there.  And where there are times I wish the smoke would just clear out as I miss fresh air like coffee in the morning after just waking up...the smoke translated in to hazy fog, washed out my golden light completely and we rolled with the punches. And what came out was some gypsy autumn photos that are so hauntingly gorgous I keep swooning over them!  

It is always the biggest complement when your clients immediately turn one of your photos as their profile photos and email you how much they love them. This session was defiantly up my alley and all I can say is THANK YOU Taylor for being one bomb BEAUTIFUL mama, being willing to hop on rocks, walk in the grasses, hide behind things, and even strip down into fabric I brought along!  And of course congratulations to you and your hubby!  You are such beautiful people, this baby boy is one lucky little guy!

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you can see more family sessions below. i'm currently booking for 2017 holiday sessions now.

alyse / on top of CDA mini session

 
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So being in the creative community circle, things and events and people start to over lap, and someone you know from somewhere knows someone else that you know from somewhere else or knows someone you'd just click with...it's sort of magical...sort of creepy lol.

This is what happened with Alyse, a friend of mine knew her and when I was asking if anyone wanted to meet up and do a mini session in Coeur d' Lane we got connected over instagram and once we met up it was non stop talking.  From odd things our husbands do, to surviving being an art student in college, we talked the whole way up Mineral Ridge.  Alyse is also a BOMB designer and typographer so if your in the market for some logo work she's your girl.

We made it to the top for the last of the glowy and hazy light which made the perfect light set up for this shoot. I'm so in love with each of these photos its sort of pathetic, but I ain't got shame!

Thank you lady for hiking in the pitch dark with me and meeting up with me for these!  

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if your interested in Alyse's work, you can check her out on facebook + her website

ray / hazy hike mini session

 
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Lately my drive to keep taking photos and work in the creative space has been on fire, I can't stop, won't stop!  When I found out we were headed to the mountains for labor day I put out a call for a couple mini-session slots and Ray was one of the people who responded.  

It was a brief hike, and I had him climbing moss covered hills, hanging out in the grass and brush and fallen trees, hand in pocket, out of pocket, smile, don't smile...let's be honest, when it's a mini session the hustle is on because even though its not a full shoot I still want my client/model to feel AMAZING!

Through the thick haze and smoke from all the wild fires, we hiked Mineral Point outside of Sandpoint, ID and met at "golden hour" which I mean as "golden" as one can get with all the smoke, lol.  Ray was a trooper, easy to work with and seriously ladies...if you want his digits...just leave a comment below and I'll help a lady out ;)

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meg + mackenzie / u-pick flower fields haze

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I am absolutely loving these best lady photo sessions!  There is nothing better then awesome ladies building each other up, and celebrating friendship with photos and laughter.

We met out at Stratton's U-Pick Flower's between Moscow, ID and Pullman, WA and spent a fire season hazing evening taking photos, laughing, picking flowers and me making them dance...like a lot lol.  But the photos only show a small spark for the joy and fire these ladies posses.

So thank you ladies for joining me for the evening!!! 
Here's to the end of the summer! Oh! And me catching up officially on my blog =)

With Grace+Guts,
-H

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emily + paige / summer prairie nights

 
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Slow, warm summer nights, where the cicada's sing, and flittering sun rays dance off of your eyelashes making your skin glow and dewy.  These are just some of the things that make summer so blissful and wonderful.  These are also just some of the things that made this particular session such a wonderful thing.  I was so full of creative joy on the way home that I couldn't contain it.  I instead busted out a quick little video of the session because I was so jazzed.

I've photographed Emily a couple other times, and she's always such a ball of fireworks that ignites in front of the camera.  But this was the first time I got a chance to photograph her best lady, Paige, and putting these two amazing women out at sunset to one of my favorite spots was a match made in summer heaven.

Thank you ladies for dealing with the crazy requests, you both are beautiful inside and out, igniting the world with those wonderful souls!

With Grace+Guts,
-H

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caiti / woman on fire session

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she wore a smile like a loaded gun
— atticus
 

You know those people that come into your life with such a blazing fire that it doesn't matter if their right next to you, across the world, you stay in touch or you haven't heard from them since you don't know when? That would be this lady. And I'm lucky to say I hear from her consistently as she's taken over as honorary sister, best friend, aunt to my kids and so much!

Recently, life decided it be fun to once again try to knock this incredible woman down.  And with life shattering events, this woman drank a heck load of coffee, brushed off and got back up stronger than ever, with a smile still radiating.

I couldn't help but take advantage of when she came for a quick 24-hr stay to document this woman and all of her fierceness. It's been over a month since this shoot, and I'm slowly trying to regain my blogging momentum...let's just say I'm so not ready for school for my kids to start next week, for warm days and long nights and I've put off every other aspect in my life to try to soak up as much of it as possible.

I love you Cait <3 You are the wine to my tea cup!
You are a force and rediculously fierce! Never forget!

And so it continues ( ; )

With Grace+Guts,
-H

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gemini mountain swimwear / a lady powered product shoot

 

There isn't a whole lot more that I love than some serious lady power and creativity!  In Missoula, MT my gurl, and fellow photographer, Rio introduced me to such a force.

Sam Alario is the founder and creator of Gemini Mountain Swimwear...bringing "femininity to functionality".  She creates all of her pieces by hand with quality materials with a passion for the environment and the landscape that surrounds her.

We were only out for a hour before the sun caved on us, when we then continued onward on the roof of Sam's house ranting with sheer gusto that only a bomb @$$ lady can do!

Make sure to check out her website, Gemini Mountain Swimwear and give Sam some love!  We've got to love our local makers and creatives, especially our lady powered ones!!!

 

adam + sara / vancouver b.c. family session

 

Recently I took a trip to Vancouver B.C. unplanned and unbeknownst during Canada Day.  These four days were blissful, with perfect weather, amazing food, and perfecto company.  

Towards the end of my trip, I got to do a special photo session with this adorable and precious family.  Their not quite one year old son and I hit it off as he stole my heart (and the show).

We went down to Cleveland Dam first thing in the morning, with the sun high and that sweet little boy fresh with giggles we got to it.  I'd love to share with you every moment but that just isn't practical.

Adam + Sara thank you again for being open to the last minute suggestions, walking barefoot and all the sweetness and kindness you shared with me.

With Grace+Guts,
-H

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dara+ben / a pdx, or engagement session

 

When my client texted me a couple hours before their session asking if I liked old fashions - - I knew I was in good company.

Dara + Ben are fun loving adventurous people who I felt more like friends with at the end of their engagement session then anything else.  We started on their back porch with their hammock, drinks in hand and their creamsicle kitty, Gus. Here I got to hear about how they met (two words...anatomy class) and connected over their love for hiking, camping, travel and the outdoors.

We then took a drive over to Powell Butte, a frequent place for them to escape the city to run and hike around.  Besides the precious wildlife and stellar clear views of Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Jefferson and Mt. Adams - this session was filled with golden light, clearing up any confusion Ben had had about walking in fields nicely dressed and sun flairs. 

Honestly, my heart was so full by the end of this session, that I didn't get lost once ya'll on my drive back to my hotel!  And that's saying a whole heap - since this girl right here has like zero sense of direction.

I cannot wait to capture their wedding this September and wish them all the joy and happiness as their summer has been filled with adventures to be had before their big day.

With Grace+Guts,

-H

 
Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

 
Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

 
Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

 
Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

 
Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

 
 
Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

Dara+Ben Portland, OR Engagement Session | Heather Woolery 2017

emily / garden goodness session

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emily +

the garden goodness session

 

okay,
so i've had this need. want. drive. whatever. to do a photo session in a greenhouse for like...EVER!
the thing is as a photographer - i will do just about whatever my clients want me to HAPPILY.
but sometimes, as a creative, i just need to go out with my camera and play.  sometimes it doesn't work. sometimes it does.  i may by biased here...but i'm so jazzed with how this idea worked out so beautifully.
emily has humored my creative ideas before (she followed me to a laundry mat last spring) but she's gorgeous and has such a sense of humor that she's my gal when i just need to go take photos.

as a creative.  you need those peeps you can call on to make your visions realities.
ya' dig?

it was supposed to just down pour when we'd planned to do the shoot but by grace the rain and storm (that blacked out my town for hours) held back till we were done with the shoot.  the lighting was primo, my first attempt at a flower crown didn't turn out so shabby and i'm so in love with these photos that if you follow me on instagram (and ya should! @littlemissheather) and do give fair warning that you might get spammed.
 

sorry.
not sorry.

ugh! enough chit chat.
thank you em for being my go to gal.
you are beautiful in every way!

with grace+guts.
-H

emily m | garden goodness session | 2017 | heather woolery

emily m | garden goodness session | 2017 | heather woolery

 
emily m | garden goodness session | 2017 | heather woolery

emily m | garden goodness session | 2017 | heather woolery

emily m | garden goodness session | 2017 | heather woolery

emily m | garden goodness session | 2017 | heather woolery

 
emily m | garden goodness session | 2017 | heather woolery

emily m | garden goodness session | 2017 | heather woolery

emily m | garden goodness session | 2017 | heather woolery

emily m | garden goodness session | 2017 | heather woolery

 
emily m | garden goodness session | 2017 | heather woolery

emily m | garden goodness session | 2017 | heather woolery

emily m | garden goodness session | 2017 | heather woolery

emily m | garden goodness session | 2017 | heather woolery

emily m | garden goodness session | 2017 | heather woolery

emily m | garden goodness session | 2017 | heather woolery

 
emily m | garden goodness session | 2017 | heather woolery

emily m | garden goodness session | 2017 | heather woolery

 

mckenzie // ui graduate

 
Mckenzie | University of Idaho Graduate | 2017 | Heather Woolery

Mckenzie | University of Idaho Graduate | 2017 | Heather Woolery

I feel sort of silly admitting this, but I always refer to clients as "mine"..."My bride..." or "My graduate..." but theres a connection that comes from spending an hour to a whole afternoon with someone you may have never met before and opening up - being openly vulnerable - trusting you so that you can get the desired outcome.  I guess it's this connection that causes the sort of hoggish behavior when it comes to my amazing clients.

and this is ever so true for mckenzie. 
i hadn't even met her before our session, other then the few
e-mails and the 2-second facebook stalk so I could put face to name.  mckenzie is such a sweetheart and gorgeous as all get out, and we instantly just clicked.

We started out at a local coffee shop, she talked about her dreams after graduation, about growing up in a small north NORTH type town by the border of Canada, all while I took photos.  We ended up venturing to the ally behind the coffee shop for some more photos and (no lie!) to soak up some of the amazing sunshine that we were getting that day (sunroof weather anyone?)

We ended over on the University's campus.  It being my alma mater, I felt like I talked mckenzie's ear off...but if I did she never once brought it to my attention.  she was just that chill about everything.  Honestly, if someone who's never met you, trusts you when you ask them to lay down on the library floor and let's you touch their hair...you've got some magic about to happen.

Ugh!  I've just been so jazzed about this whole session, here's some shots (though choosing has been overtly difficult).

Congratulations Lady!  I'm so excited for all that you have ahead of you!!!

With Grace&Guts,
-H

Mckenzie | University of Idaho Graduate | 2017 | Heather Woolery

Mckenzie | University of Idaho Graduate | 2017 | Heather Woolery

Mckenzie | University of Idaho Graduate | 2017 | Heather Woolery

Mckenzie | University of Idaho Graduate | 2017 | Heather Woolery

Mckenzie | University of Idaho Graduate | 2017 | Heather Woolery

Mckenzie | University of Idaho Graduate | 2017 | Heather Woolery

 
Mckenzie | University of Idaho Graduate | 2017 | Heather Woolery

Mckenzie | University of Idaho Graduate | 2017 | Heather Woolery

Mckenzie | University of Idaho Graduate | 2017 | Heather Woolery

Mckenzie | University of Idaho Graduate | 2017 | Heather Woolery

 
Mckenzie | University of Idaho Graduate | 2017 | Heather Woolery

Mckenzie | University of Idaho Graduate | 2017 | Heather Woolery

Mckenzie | University of Idaho Graduate | 2017 | Heather Woolery

Mckenzie | University of Idaho Graduate | 2017 | Heather Woolery

 

365/week seventeen

 

home.

what a concept.

for the last month i've been everywhere but home, and the past 7-days have been finally me back in my little dwelling, refilling the refrigerator with food, catching up on laundry, watering plants, giving our cat waffle's her demanded attention...etc etc.

after my little art rendezvous, i hoped back into the photographer saddles this week and did two heart warmer and fun photo sessions.  even though the weather was hit and miss, man it felt so stinking good to be back out there with a camera in my hand.

i've seriously had the worst diet this week, which i guess chalk it up to "eating what i want" off the list, but pesto pasta for breakfast and 2-cheese burgers later...I'm a happy camper.  Sometimes, you've just gotta.  Or at least, I just gotta.

work has been insane so my time in the studio this week was nothing but i actually spent time to read two magazines two nights in a row...one was from February and the other from march...I'm catching up.

i'm so grateful for all the goodness...and even all the crazy.  sometimes it's hard juggling all that i'm juggling and i drop the ball here and there (like Monday when i took the kids through the drive through because i just wasn't gonna cook that night - - or last night when every thing i asked my mini's to do went in one ear and out the other and i threw a total 2-year old tantrum because of it...wow i'm an example this week)...but i love those two mini's with all my heart, i love being a creative even though it doesn't pay what i'd like so i could buy all the shoes...this is life.  it's an adventure.

my 365-challenge wasn't ever meant to be law or a stresser...though i'll admit i beat myself up from time to time for not perfecting Italian yet or not even picking up a cello yet...but it was meant to keep me moving and moving in a way that encouraged who i am versus the 9-5 drone that society seems to gravitate to.  My life is making snack for my kids day at 6:30 am when I'd rather be drinking coffee hiding in bed - - but at least i get paid in snuggles.

i hope you all have a fabulous weekend, enjoy those in your life and all the moments.

With Grace+Guts,

-H

 

jamie // wsu graduation session

jamie marks | wsu 2017 graduation session | heather woolery

jamie marks | wsu 2017 graduation session | heather woolery

 

recently i spent a sleepless night browsing the rabbit hole that is better known as pinterest and found this quote:

magic happens when you do not give up, even though you want to.
the universe always fall’s in love with a stubborn heart.
— unknown

anyone who's gone to college can testify how true this statement is...oh how many times i wanted to give up while i was in school...and yet now...i look back and all there is is pride.  because yes! i did that! me. and this may, this beautiful boss lady who i'm lucky enough to call friend is graduating from washington state university in pullman, washington.

can i get a huge whoop! whoop! for this lady!!!

i have lived only 20-minutes from this campus for 5+ years, however jamie was my first official tour guide for the campus and as we hung out, snapped pictures and played with the unchangeable april winds, one thing was clear, this lady is so loved and will do so much good...I'm so dang excited for her.

we were stopped by beloved friends on campus, we laughed at the strange things i did or made jamie do, to get the shots and enjoyed the first major real sliver of blue sky and sunshine we've seen in quite some time.

good things are coming for this lady. 

so congratulations my friend!  i'm so excited for all your future endeavors.

with grace+guts,

-h